If you are yet to see Dominik Szobozlai’s barnstorming free-kick then a quick search with Google is definitely recommended.
Szoboszlai, 19, was recently reported by The Mail as a potential target for Liverpool just four months after the club brought in another Salzburg star in the form of Takumi Minamino following a cut-price deal in January.
The Hungarian midfielder struck an absolute thunderbolt for his national side against Turkey during a 1-0 victory in the UEFA Nations League on Wednesday.
It was Szobozlai’s sixth goal directly from a free-kick in the space of a year, three of them post lockdown for club side Salzburg where a flurry of goals and a number of assists saw an interest registered in the teenager from a number of Europe’s top clubs.
Italian publication Tuttosport claim that Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig are also in the hunt for the £26m-rated talent.
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One to watch
His inspiring form off the back end of last season and following Project Restart saw the versatile midfielder crowned the Austrian Bundesliga Player of the Season ahead of teammate Patson Daka who scored 27 goals and registered 12 assists in 31 games for Salzburg.
Szobozlai has blossomed in recent months and his possibilities are endless in terms of the level the youngster can aspire to reach given his already relentless skillset.
Renowned for his versatility in midfield, Szobozlai can operate as both a No.10 and No.8. He has just two years remaining on his deal in Austria and given Liverpool’s good relationship with Salzburg, he could become of interest to Liverpool in 2021.
Similarly to that of Bayern Munich’s Leon Goretska, Szobozlai has developed dramatically from a physical standpoint and he is playing like a man possessed.
His free-kick taking ability coupled by his pinpoint accuracy from set-pieces have ensured his output in terms of goals and assists were extortionately high for any player of his age, let alone a midfielder.
Szobozlai scored 12 times and registered an eye-watering 18 assists during 40 appearances last season for Salzburg.
Considering he is the club’s designated set-piece taker, his ability to pick out teammates from corners and free-kicks have added another edge to Salzburg’s game.
Against SK Rapid Wien in June, Szobozlai managed a hat-trick of assists while also scoring himself all inside 20 minutes and two weeks prior to that he clocked up another hat-trick after finding the net three times against SK Sturm Graz.
Szobozlai will be hoping his career trajectory can follow a similar pattern to that of Sadio Mane, Naby Keita and Minamino who have all progress on from the Austrian champions to the home of the reigning Premier League winners.
Seven-time European Cup winners AC Milan have also reportedly registered an interest in Szobozlai this summer and while a move does not seem likely this summer given the Austrian Bundesliga begins in a week’s time, is almost an inevitability that a player of Szobozlai’s quality will soon be too hot a prospect for Europe’s biggest clubs not to pay attention.
Liverpool have been here before
Liverpool have proven themselves a standout beneficiary of potential hidden gems in uncharted areas of the footballing pyramid.
Szoboszlai has come up against the Reds before during Liverpool’s stunning 4-3 thriller at Anfield in last season’s Champions League before being beaten 2-0 in the final group game at home.
Hungarian outlet Rangado reported that Klopp after the match interrupted Szoboszlai’s interview in the Red Bull Arena corridor to congratulate him on his performance.
He also featured against the Reds recently during Salzburg’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool following the Reds’ two-week pre-season camp in Austria.
Given the club’s relationship with Red Bull, there is no reason to assume that if Liverpool were to make their interest concrete in the future that it couldn’t give Jurgen Klopp and the Reds an edge in ensuring Szobozlai’s next footballing destination is indeed Anfield.
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